Have visitors coming? Here are 15 Tips for Hosting Overnight Guests
Once a year my in-laws come to visit us from Georgia (we are in Ohio right now). They come every summer and stay in our apartment. And by “in-laws” I mean, my mother and father-in-law plus two (20 something) brothers-in-law, a (teenage) sister-in-law, and a (60 pound) German shepherd. Add that to me and my husband plus our dog and you get 7 people, 2 dogs, about 1000 square feet, and 1 bathroom. It ultimately equals chaos. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. This yearly phenomenon happened last weekend.
While, I love having them and I would never want them to stay somewhere else when they visit, hosting that many people for a long period of time takes a lot of work. So I’ve compiled a list of tips to help you host overnight guests.
ONE || Clean your apartment. Obviously.
TWO || Buy fresh flowers. I had a beautiful bouquet of purple tulips as my table centerpiece and had smaller vases of fresh flowers all around the apartment.
THREE || Light candles before they get there. Not only do candles smell good, they also make your place feel more homey. I like to be sure to at least have one in the bathroom, the guest bedroom, the kitchen, and the living room.
FOUR || Put books/magazines by the bed. If your guests and your schedule are anything like mine were last weekend, they probably won’t be spending much time reading. But it’s still nice to give them the option and have resourses readily available for them to relax with.
FIVE || Make room in the closet and dresser. I don’t know about you, but if I’m staying somewhere for more than one night, I really like to unpack. It makes reaching for clothes so much easier and you feel more at home.
SIX || Make room in the bathroom. Or, if you only have one bathroom like me, make room for their toileries elsewhere. Like outside the bathroom. I always set a TV tray in the hallway right outside the bathroom as sort of an extention of the bathroom counter. It just gives us all a little more space.
SEVEN || Display extra toiletry samples. We always have a bunch of shampoos and other toiletries from staying in hotels. I like to display the best of what we have in a basket or jar on the back of the toilet for our guests to grab if they need them.
EIGHT || Make fresh sheets, blankets and towels available and accessible. You could lay them out on the bed or something but I just showed everybody where to get their own towels from the linen closet. I did pull out a basket of extra blankets for everyone to pick from though.
NINE || Buy food they like. And lots of it. Ask what they usually eat for breakfast, what kinds of snacks they like, any allergies you don’t know about etc. And have multiple options.
TEN || Prepare as much food before hand as possible. I worked all day on Friday, the day they were getting there. They had driven all day and I knew they weren’t going to want to go anywhere. So Thrusday night, I prepared a casserole and put it in the fridge. I also put 7 potatoes in the crock pot. Friday morning, I turned on the crock pot and then after work all I had to do was throw the casserole (which I doubled) in the oven for 30 minutes and toss a salad. And it was a hit!
ELEVEN || Bathe and groom your pets. Confession: I don’t give my dog enough baths nor do I brush him or clip his toenails enough. I’m just lazy. But I always make sure these things are done before company comes over so shedding and scratching is less of a problem than it would be if I didn’t do this.
TWELVE || Clean out your fridge. Does anyone else’s refridgerator get really discusting? It’s embarassing. Overnight company is a wonderful excuse to get that thing cleaned out.
THIRTEEN || Weed garden. Here’s another confession: I have completely neglected my little garden this year. It’s a little square patch of dirt on my back patio that almost nobody sees. All it has in it is a hydrangea that I actually planted with my mother-in-law several years ago. Anyway, sometimes it seems like it’s not very important but overnight guests are a good reason to get it all pretty again as well.
FOURTEEN || Catch up on laundry before hand. This is important for two reasons. One, you of course don’t want dirty laundry everywhere or your basket overflowing while they’re visiting. And two, you will get behind on things like that while they’re in town. I mean, at least I didn’t want to spend precious time doing laundry while my family was here.
FIFTEEN || Have a schedule but be flexible. You certainly want to plan fun stuff for them while they’re in town, but you need to remember that they are on vacation and might just want to rest instead of run around all the time. Or maybe they don’t want to spend that much money. Just be flexible.
Do you have family that lives far away and stays with you when they visit? How do you prepare for them? Thanks for reading!